Despite gas prices, waste hauler turns profit

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The Associated Press

Waste Management Inc., the nation’s largest garbage hauler, said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit rose 26 percent on tax benefits and the sale of some operations, though higher fuel prices cut into income.

The company said earnings rose to $309 million, or 61 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31 versus $246 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue increased to $3.36 billion from $3.28 billion in the year-ago period.

“The fourth quarter of 2007 was not without its challenges, including the impact of rising diesel fuel prices,” said David Steiner, Waste Management’s chief executive.

Still, Steiner added, “We ended the year on a strong note and are poised for additional earnings growth in 2008.”